Sister Connie Kramer receives Frances Murphy Rumely Award
On March 8, 2021, Sister Connie Kramer, SP, received a call from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) Director of Alumni Relations, Sarah Mahady, delivering some surprising news.
During the conversation, Sarah had informed Sister Connie that she was to receive the 2021 Frances Murphy Rumely Award during the May 22 SMWC Alumni Reunion Banquet.
The awards were handed out on Saturday, May 22, at a banquet. A total of five SMWC alumnae were honored with awards from this year and 2020, including 1965 graduate Betty Borders McAndrews, who also received the Frances Murphy Rumely Award (for 2020); 1964 graduate Fran Froehlich and 1961 graduate Carol Jean Kinghorn-Landry, who both received the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Award, from last year and this year respectively; and 2014 graduate Rachel Leslie, who received the first G.O.L.D.E.N. Oak Award.
Sister Connie, who graduated from SMWC in 1964, said she was made aware of the fact that she had been nominated for the award in January via email and was surprised when she learned she was to receive this year’s honor.
An honor and privilege
“One of my college classmates, Rachel Eberle Ambrose, nominated me and wrote a long narrative about me in the nomination application form,” Sister Connie commented. “I was even more surprised when Sarah called me.
“Receiving this award is indeed both a great honor and a privilege for me personally. It acknowledges what our Provident God, my Kramer family and my Sisters of Providence Community have empowered me to be and to do during my many years of ministry.”
In the nomination form presented by Rachel, she wrote “Sister Connie had a vision to be a servant leader with a desire to increase the quality of life in the Wabash Valley.”
Sister Connie entered the Congregation in 1964 from Holy Angels Parish in Dayton, Ohio. She professed first vows in 1967 and perpetual vows in 1970.
Sister Connie earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from SMWC and a master’s degree in mathematics from Indiana State University. In addition, she has another master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Trinity University.
A rich history of ministry
She began ministering as a teacher at Costa High School in Galesburg, Ill., in 1968, and also taught at Our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville, Ind., as well as at Ladywood-St. Agnes in Indianapolis. She has also ministered in a variety of pastoral ministry positions for more than 35 years.
Sister Connie helped develop the Saint Ann Medical Clinic, now known as the Wabash Valley Health Center, and created Saint Ann Dental Services. In addition, she established Saint Ann Community Outreach in the Wabash Valley.
She currently ministers as a retreat and spiritual director as well as a grief specialist in the Indianapolis area.
Recipients of the Frances Rumely Award, presented in memory of Rumely, class of 1935, are selected by the SMWC Alumni Association Board of Directors.
The criteria for this award states those receiving it must be a graduate of the College; must have demonstrated outstanding dedication to civic, religious or educational organizations; and must have volunteered in a significant manner to one or more organizations while demonstrating leadership through their work.
SMWC began handing out the award in 1985. Sister Brendan Harvey, SP (RIP), a 1953 graduate of the College, also received this award in 2006.
Congratulations, S. Connie! This is truly well-deserved.
Congratulations, Sr. Connie! I’m so grateful for what I’ve learned from you and you will always stand out in my memory!